A new world record was created last Monday when a 95-year-old pilot took to the skies and in the process, became the oldest living pilot who still flies a plane. Meet Peter Weber Jr. – the nonagenarian who flew a small plane for about 20 minutes a few days ago and set the new record. During the event that was attended by several media outlets, Peter made three loops around a small airfield – much to the delight of his friends and family. According to the Sacramento Bee, the the flight Peter Weber Jr. made on Monday qualifies him to be the world’s oldest active pilot.
Weber Jr. – a retired U.S. Air Force veteran spoke to reporters after his historic flight.
“I feel great. It was a short flight, but it was all the (Guinness) requirements,” he said.
According to reports, Peter had used a rental plane to break the record. Guinness has confirmed that Peter Weber Jr. was 95 years, 4 months and 23 days old when he made the record-breaking flight.
It was on the insistence of Pete Weber III, Peter’s pilot son that he decided to fly a plane and set the record. Pete had earlier wondered if his father was the oldest pilot in California.
After figuring out that he indeed was, Pete decided to contact officials from Guinness and on Monday, the actual flight to certify the record took place. Peter Weber Jr. flew a rented single engine Diamond DA-20 over the skies of Placerville, California and set the record. Guinness officials had to create a new category: “Oldest qualified pilot still licensed and flying solo”- so that they could add Peter’s feat to their list of records.
While Peter Weber is currently the world’s oldest pilot, he is still a decade away from breaking the the record for the oldest pilot ever. That record is currently held by Cole Kugel of Longmont, Colorado. In 2007, when he created the record, Cole was 105 years old. Unfortunately, he died the same year. Let us all hope Peter stays healthy and will be able to break that record as well in 2025!
Private Pilots above the age of 40 are required to undergo medical examinations every two years and according to FAA records, there are 106 qualified pilots above the age 90 in the U.S. alone!
Peter isn’t too concerned that someone younger will break his record some day.
“If somebody passes me up, I’ll call them up and congratulate them,” Weber said.
The news of Peter Weber Jr’s record setting feat comes in the same week elderly people across the globe made headlines.
[Images Via Randy Pench/ Sacramento Bee]